29 Nov Mr Miyagi, Windsor
Saliva-inducing images of Mr Miyagi’s nori tacos have been floating around for so long, and being a sucker for Japanese food I immediately added it to my every-growing list of places to try. I knew they were at the Night Noodle Markets selling a few varieties of nori taco, but I prefer visiting actual restaurants, plus, I also wanted to see what else was on the menu.
The number of people in the group enabled us to book one of the three dark and cosy booths available. If you don’t want sparkling water, ensure you decline it straightaway otherwise you’ll be charged for it at the end, even if the bottle’s seal is stll intact.
The menu is focused on sharing, which was great because we wanted to try almost everything on the menu. Addictive edamame and succulent Miyagi Fried Chicken with kewpie mayo kicked off the night, with the remainder of the dishes arriving at a surprisingly fast rate.
Tempura broccoli with kim chi seasoning was one of the unexpected winners of the night. Often an underappreciated and unassuming vegetable, the broccoli had such an incredible, literally melt-in-your mouth texture that we didn’t know was possible. It was crispy and cheesy, and melty but not unpleasantly mushy on the inside. Amazing.
Tuna tataki pizza came with rare seared tuna, yuzu caesar cream, heirloom tomatoes and shaved jalapenos on spiced flat bread. It was an interesting fusion dish that provided a fresh interlude from the mostly heavy dishes we ordered tonight.
We then came to Mr Miyagi’s pièce de résistance, the nori taco. The battered nori was quite thick and crunchy, providing enough structure to comfortably contain all that grilled salmon belly, sushi rice and spicy napa cabbage. Spiked with Japanese mayo and chilli oil, it was a tasty and filling dish that certainly impressed. Although there were visible chilli flakes from the chilli oil, it wasn’t that spicy – a relief for the chilli lightweights amongst us.
Nikuman steamed bao were served with 12 hour pulled pork, pickled butternut squash, cucumber, ginger, and Korean BBQ sauce. There was a generous amount of pork for the number of buns provided. We could have done with another of those fluffy buns! Pickled cucumber and ginger were perfect for lifting the flavours of the pulled pork.
The Korean BBQ pork rib with sticky baby back sauce was packed with flavour, had a delicate and tender texture and came off neatly from the bone.
Our feast concluded with the pumpkin toast. There were so many components to get our heads around that it was a bit confusing at first, but when put together they all sang in perfect harmony to create music in our mouths. The dense pumpkin toast was crunchy on the outside, as you’d expect toast to be. The rich white chocolate was a wonderful accompaniment to the toast, as butterscotch sauce is to sticky date pudding. Chunks of honeycomb added extra crunch and a different sort of sweetness, and the yoghurt sorbet and subtley spiced pumpkin ice cream added the refreshment needed to break up all that richness. One of the best desserts I’ve had in a long time.
An incredible amount of thought had been put into the branding, from the chopstick covers and nori taco boxes to the bill envelope at the end. None of us really venture to this part of Melbourne very often, but all were glad we made the trip. Mr Miyagi provided a flavour experience that I’d happily repeat.
99 Chapel Street
Windsor, VIC, 3181
(03) 9529 5999